Legacies 4×02, “There’s No I In Team, or Whatever,” raises the stakes beyond the threat of Malivore in a way that promises this show is more than capable of thriving without the mud monster. Legacies represents this through more unlikely pairings, necessary confrontations, and excellent and interesting internal conflict at the Salvatore School.
As this show barrels towards Tribrid Hope, it’s compelling to watch how the focus shifts from the larger scale of Malivore’s reign of terror to the lasting effects of the supernatural world on these students. Unfortunately, that point can get lost in the hefty exposition and ties to Malivore, but Legacies is pulling itself back on track.
Moreover, it’s doing so with a darker tone, which creates even more opportunities for alluring stories that consider the weight of the subject matter. Since the first episodes of this season are wrapping up the last, it’s genuinely exciting to think about what’s awaiting us in the trajectory for Season 4.
Though it doesn’t need it in clear sight all of the time, sometimes Legacies loses the touchstone of its shared universe. “There’s No I In Team, or Whatever” is proof that these characters have a past, whether their own, their family’s, or their supernatural faction’s, that will always be a part of their future. Season 4 appears as though it will be when these characters confront that fact rather than run from it.
The Weight of the Merge
A devastating example of this is Josie and Finch’s breakup. The rate at which their relationship advances makes sense, pending the heightened reality they live in and the loss surrounding them. Unfortunately, we barely see Finch and Josie exist as a couple before they’re no longer one. The turnaround is too quick for the status of their relationship to matter. What does matter is the emotional and mental states both girls are in during the breakup.
The emotional weight in the scene is palpable because Finch compares counting her days with Josie to counting her days with her grandfather, and Josie is losing someone else she cares about. But, unfortunately, that’s where this scene takes a nosedive. Due to Finch’s newness to Legacies, Finch’s feelings about the Merge don’t land well and instead come across as misplaced — as if telling anyone about the Merge is easy.
It’s unlikely that this breakup is permanent, but due to their outlooks on the Merge, it would be beneficial for Josie and Finch to be apart. Josie doesn’t need to feel guilty about her potential, eventual death, but her introspection on the Merge affects her romantic relationships (Finch or otherwise) could be an intriguing arc to follow. Magic is one thing, but being a Gemini witch adds a lot of drama and history to the cauldron.
Legacies has an opportunity to reflect on that now. That reflection could bring the Saltzman twins together without lamenting their codependency but their hope for the opposite. As Lizzie ventures towards love and Josie presumably turns away from it, the Merge becomes an actual antagonist with real stakes before the catastrophic ones it requires. I presumed as much would be the case after 4×01 “You Have to Pick One This Time.”
When Will Ric Step Back?
Ric’s decision to step up as a headmaster is circumstantial and not shocking. Yet, it’s agonizing to watch as a long-time fan of this character. Josie called him out of this exact behavior last season, and nothing has changed. Even his comments about Clarke not being capable of redemption (though valid and agreeable) fall short of genuine conviction.
Ric supported the Necromancer’s redemption, but he draws the line at Clarke? Ric’s moral line is so blurry that it’s translucent. No one can see it anymore, not even him. It makes him an unreliable and unrespectable headmaster.
Ric’s resistance to accountability and change is glaringly apparent compared to Hope relinquishing control with the transfusion spell. Hope is finally able to take the advice of someone she respects and Ric can’t. The maturity of Hope and Josie’s friendship is on full display in that scene, and it shines the brightest spotlight on Ric’s immaturity.
Hope’s fight to save Landon has been arduous and lengthy, like Ric’s battle with his ego. Yet, Hope is the first to realize that winning could mean stepping back and trusting others to lead. Dorian isn’t around anymore, and Vardemus is off doing who knows what.
Still, there has to be someone more susceptible to growth available to run the Salvatore School. So, Caroline Forbes, I’m begging you to come home.
Learning to Lead and Learning to Love
It doesn’t seem like Ric realizes the influence he has on the kids’ lives. Despite stepping in and clearing the way for Hope to save Lizzie, Kaleb still feels as though he disappointed Ric. It’s hard to watch knowing Ric has done far worse with less sound reasoning. Kaleb has the foundations that make his voice influential already, but he can’t see that because he keeps coming himself to Ric.
So it’s terrific that Legacies pairs him up with Lizzie, who also struggles with comparing herself to others. It’s lovely to watch this catch up after their friendship budded back when MG was at Mystic Falls High. Plus, it makes the Ethan/Lizzie/MG triangle more complicated. It’s refreshing to have a love triangle on the show when the stakes are through the roof with Malivore, Tribrid Hope, and the Merge.
Legacies is a show about young adult supernatural beings, and something like a love triangle should be treated with the same life or death stakes as a mud monster. And now that Ethan could be one of Malivore’s minions? Yeah, there’s a lot more to this story.
Other Spelltacular Moments:
- The football fiasco was only last year?
- Landon would have loved Movie in the Square.
- Lizzie’s love language being words of affirmation is too perfect.
- “The safest place I can be is right here next to your” is still true.
- Wade’s powers look so cool!
- Landon’s face when Cleo admits to not knowing Star Wars is so good.
- If you’re keeping tabs, Ric made two bourbon jokes in this episode…
- “Inspire yourself for a change.”
- MG calling Ethan E-ssential made me smile so big, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
What did you think of “There’s No I In Team, or Whatever?” Let us know in the comments below!
Legacies airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.